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Alas de mariposa (1991)

Ami is a 6 year old girl, extremely sensitive. Her mother, Carmen, lives with the obsession of giving a son to her husband, Gabriel. When finally she gets pregnant, the relation between ... See full summary »


Juanma Bajo Ulloa
9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Silvia Munt ... Carmen
Tito Valverde ... Gabriel (as Fernando Valverde)
Susana García Díez Susana García Díez ... Ami (as Susana García)
Laura Vaquero Laura Vaquero ... Amy niña
Txema Blasco Txema Blasco ... Abuelo
Alberto Martín Aranaga Alberto Martín Aranaga ... Gorka
Rafael Martín Rafael Martín ... Lucio
Olivia Sánchez Olivia Sánchez ... Olivia
Carmen Ruiz del Corral Carmen Ruiz del Corral ... Teacher
Txema Ocio Txema Ocio ... Milkman
Elena Armengod Elena Armengod ... Nurse
Eloy Beato Eloy Beato ... Nurse 1
Antonio de Miguel Antonio de Miguel ... Nurse 2
Oier López de Munain Oier López de Munain ... Baby
Kristina Barco Kristina Barco ... Baker


Ami is a 6 year old girl, extremely sensitive. Her mother, Carmen, lives with the obsession of giving a son to her husband, Gabriel. When finally she gets pregnant, the relation between mother and daughter becomes a tragic one, driving the family to an inevitable nightmare. Written by Carlos Morales <bmunoz@mail.sci.net.mx>

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Release Date:

18 October 1991 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Butterfly Wings See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo


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Features El reino de Víctor (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

"Alas de mariposa" potently challenges the viewer with the re-examination of the female in a patriarchal society.
11 November 2000 | by dlkohrsSee all my reviews

Although we live under the premise that equality between men and women has consistently improved over the past three decades, the potent film "Alas de mariposa" ("Wings of the Butterfly") presents a startling contrast to this notion. Set in the Basque region of Spain, the director Juanma Bajo Ulloa portrays a modern family in the 1990's who is consumed with the obsession to have a son to carry on the family name. Ironically, it is the mother, Carmen, who is determined to continue the patriarchal dominance rather than the submissive father, Gabriel, as a result of living under the shadow of her father's resentment. While focusing on the repression of the feminine identity and the subsequent violence that is imposed upon the young daughter Ami, the spectator can draw parallels to the repression of the Basque independence and identity in the Northeast section of Spain.

While using revealing chiaroscuro lighting, "Alas de mariposa" contains various symbolic scenes that augment the patriarchal ideology through closed frames which denote the trapped family. The opening scene of the movie summarizes the rejection of the female throughout the film when the grandfather refuses to accept the birth of his granddaughter. Preceding scenes of the storm, ruination of the family painting that Ami draws, Carmen's rejection of Ami during her pregnancy and even the egg that breaks during the parallel montage of Ami's fall represents the broken possibility of life. The only moments in which Ami, the daughter, feels free and uninhibited is through the creation of her art, yet ironically the only time she can draw the butterfly wings is between the death of her grandfather and the birth of her little brother. The butterfly wings seem to symbolize her momentary freedom and liberty, while the skeletal frame represents her lack of freedom.

The vicious ideological circle in "Alas de mariposa" slowly rotates around the father's idealist attitude, the mother's forceful dominance, the daughter's rejection, the pregnancies and hurtful actions. The entire film encourages the viewer to evaluate the remaining patriarchal holds still remnant in society. "Alas de mariposa" is a compelling movie that questions the force of ideologies, portrays the victims and offenders of these philosophies, and the effect that they have on freedom and liberty. It is an eye-opening movie that challenges the audience with the re-examination of creeds that society imposes on the individual as well as the group.

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